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The Long Voyage Home

John Wayne , Thomas Mitchell , John Ford    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 74.89
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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting Musical Score March 10 2003
Format:VHS Tape
If this is the movie I think it is (in how many movies did Johh Wayne have a Swedish accent?), it wasn't but a few years ago when I got a chance to see it from beginning to end as an adult.
When I think of this movie, there is one scene that stands out from all the rest; and it is the haunting musical score that caused this. The scene, as I said, is quite simple. We see nothing but the ship itself leaving a dock in the harbor at night. And then the music - "Those Harbor Lights" - begins in what strikes me as a bitter-sweet tone - building gradually during its short duration in such a fashion that it left me feeling almost empty, desperate, hopeless, helpless - for want of better adjectives. I had heard that tune many times over the years - but never as so hauntingly and piercingly as it was performed in that movie - and without words, too! It turned out to be one of those tunes that - once it entered my head - would bounce around and around - taking me days to finally purge it from my system.
Not too many movie scenes have affected me this way.
I highly recommend this movie for this scene alone. To me it is a different type of John Ford movie, but with top-notch acting, including Thomas Mitchell, Barry Fitzgerald, Barry's brother Arthur Shields, and John Wayne (and with a Swedish accent in the bargain!). A real joy to watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A forgetten Ford classic! Feb. 15 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film is pure Ford. The murky sets remind me of "The Informer." And the cast is John Ford's famous stock company: Barry Fitzgerald, Mildred Natwick, John Qualen, Jack Pennick, Thomas Mitchell, and John Wayne. The story is based on a group of Eugene O'Neill one act plays about life on a merchant marine ship during wartime. The movie updated the story from O'Neill's WWI to the contemporary WWII. The actors drink, fight, cavort with loose women, fend off German attacks, and try to protect a naive, young Swedish sailor from being shanghaied.
That naive, young Swede is played by none other than the Duke, John Wayne. Although Thomas Mitchell, just coming off his Academy Award winning role in Ford's "Stagecoach," is the star; the Duke is very good in his supporting role. Here he's not playing some larger than life hero who rides tall in the saddle; instead he is naive Ole Olson who just wants to go home to his mother's farm in Sweden. Anyone who believes that John Wayne "just played himself" will be in for a pleasant surprise with his performance in "The Long Voyage Home."
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Tense Life on a Merchant Ship during war Sept. 7 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Although a slow paced movie, there is an underlying tension as everyday life of merchant sailors as they labor and die to deliver crucial supplies as war rages far away or is it just over the horizon. From one scene to another, the dreams and fears of crew members are exposed. Many of the crew show their emotions as tension peaks and wanes. These are men here who would rather be somewhere else or who don't know any other life or who have hidden from the reality of their lives on a ship that is sailing in waters where U-Boats could be sighted at any moment. The Kreigsmarine is looking for you as the Nazi's have declared an open season on you and other Allied shipping. Will the next ship torpedoed and sent to the bottom be one of those others or will it be you? Enjoy the sound track as it has some wonderful music that you might otherwise miss. It is a gem of a movie you will be able to appreciate, if you just take the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of war movie Jan. 7 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Director John Ford took big lug John Wayne out of his usual prairie wanderings in this sad, slowly deliberate film about a group of merchant marines eager to make it home, with the shadow of WWII hovering over them, and German U-boats haunting the waters of the Atlantic. It turns out the Germans are less of a menace than their fellow sailors, as Wayne's naive young Swede, Ole Olafson, falls prey to a criminal pack of shanghai-ers in a seedy local tavern. The ever-dependable Thomas Mitchell brings this film its emotional core, playing his old-timer experience beautifully off of the Swede's wide-eyed innocence. Nice flick; not as exciting or robust as other wartime offerings, but complex and emotionally resonant. From a story by Eugene O'Neill.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GRIM, POWERFUL SAGA OF MERCHANT SEAMEN May 22 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Based on four of Eugene O'Neill's one-act plays, director John Ford presents a magnificent portrayal of humanity at sea and its struggle to not only survive but remain civilized during the early stages of WWI. Wayne was cast as a young Swedish sailor, and Ford insisted that he employed an accent which Wayne resisted fearing he would appear comical. The resulting performance is one of Wayne's best: very reserved and effective as Ole Olsen, who's essentially a simple man. Mitchell is wonderful as the old salt, and Hunter is moving as the tortured seaman who has ruined his life on land. This was playwright O'Neill's favourite film and he wore out a print of the film Ford gave from watching it over and over!
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